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Keeping the Dead [Hardcover]

Tess Gerritsen
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)

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Book Description

12 Feb 2009
She’s Pilgrim Hospital’s most unusual patient, and on this Saturday night, a media circus is gathered to record every minute of her visit to the X-ray department. Crammed into the small CT scan room are reporters, TV cameras, a select group of medical technicians – and forensic pathologist Maura Isles. Maura is there because the patient being scanned tonight isn’t alive. She’s probably been dead for centuries. She is, in fact, a mummy. As the CT scan proceeds, everyone in the room leans in close – and gasps in horror as an image of a bullet is revealed. Maura declares it a possible homicide case and calls in Detective Jane Rizzoli. When the preserved body of a second victim is found – and then a third – it becomes all too clear that not only is a maniac at large but he is taunting them. And that, unless Maura and Jane can find and stop him, he will soon be adding yet another chilling piece to his monstrous collection

Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press (12 Feb 2009)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0593057791
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593057797
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16.2 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 377,906 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Bestselling author Tess Gerritsen is also a physician, and she brings to her novels her first-hand knowledge of emergency and autopsy rooms. But her interests span far more than medical topics. As an anthropology student at Stanford University, she catalogued centuries-old human remains, and she continues to travel the world driven by her fascination with ancient cultures and bizarre natural phenomena. She started off her writing career with romance novels, now published by Mira. But in 1996 she switched to writing thrillers with her novel HARVEST, inspired by the anger she felt about the illegal trade in human organs. It was her first New York Times bestseller. Since then she has become an internationally bestselling author of crime novels, and her thriller series starring Boston detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles is the basis for the hit television series "Rizzoli & isles." She lives with her husband in Maine. For more information on Tess Gerritsen and her novels, visit her website:

Product Description

Amazon Review

Tess Gerritsen has forged some of the most visceral thrillers of the modern era in such books as The Surgeon, as kinetically involving as one could wish for, with a welcome reluctance to pull punches for her readers (the very thing, in fact, that her legion of admirers praise her for). Her heroines, detective Jane Rizzoli and medico Maura Isles, are distinctive figures, with a host of striking traits (the new book, Keeping The Dead, deliberately sidelines these traits for a narrative that fairly barrels along; something that won’t necessarily give regular admirers of Gerritsen pause, but which perhaps means that the book is not the best place for new readers to start).

At Pilgrim Hospital, reporters and doctors are gathered for a highly unusual event. A dead woman is placed under an X-ray, with Maura Isles looking on with interest. However, the twist is that the subject has been dead for many years – it is not someone recently dead, but a centuries-old mummy. To the surprise of everyone present, the x-ray reveals that a bullet is lodged in the body, and Maura contacts her colleague, Detective Jane Rizzoli. What began as a historical investigation has, it seems, become a case of homicide. Soon, unpleasant revelations are found hidden behind a wall in a museum owned by a venerable family. Before long the two women realise that they are dealing with a killer of ruthless intelligence who is toying with them. As usual with Gerritsen the tension in Keeping the Dead is generated with skill, though there is less of the inexorable build-up than we are used to. --Barry Forshaw


'Tess is at the classiest end of crime writing. On reading you know that you are in the hands of a master.'
-- Boyd Hilton, The Simon Mayo Programme, BBC Radio 5 Live

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Keeping The Dead 8 Feb 2009
This is the 7th in Tess Gerritsen Rizzoli and Isles series. For this book the latest serial killer prowling the streets of Boston has been named The Archeologist due to the fact that he is mummifying his victims, enter detectives Rizzoli and Frost and, briefly; Maura Isles. I have to agree with a previous reviewer on the fact that Maura Isles was really quite un necessary in this novel. I feel she can be an interesting character but the effort was just not put in by the author to progres her character and her relationship with Daniel Brophy.
And the same can be said for the family life of Jane Rizoli. Theres basically no progression on the basis that her husband Gabriel and new born daughter; Regina are barely mentioned. And this is a shame as this has been a series that has always been enjoyable due to the fact that the characters were once believable. The two leading ladies as it were had their private lives and we were privvy to that. And for that to be taken away from us seems to make the story suffer quite substantially.
The only character that seems to progress at all is Rizoli's partner Barry Frost whos been pretty one dimensional up until this book, and finally has a bit of a back story, as half hearted as the attempt was.
But does all this really matter? well to me, yes. But if you enjoy the fact that the thrills and chills are still there, theres some truly fascinating information thrown in on egyptology but to be fair the medical side that Isles bought to the table is missing and also the gruesome nature seen in some of her previous books; The Surgeon.
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51 of 55 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars That Rizzoli 'edge' is missing 29 Sep 2008
Known as "The Keepsake" in the U.S. this UK version is subtitled "A Maura Isles Thriller" on some covers. Slightly misleading, that, because Boston medical examiner Dr Isles really plays a rather by-the-numbers part in this story, and in any case this series hasn't always featured her at all. She first appeared in THE SINNER, which was the third of the seven to date, and in doing so added a bit of softer-hearted romance to what had been until then a really excellent hard-edged crime thriller series. The character of Detective Rizzoli, meanwhile, has lost some of its depth and meaning over the years and anyone buying into Tess Gerritsen for the first time might wonder what the fuss is all about. A series such as this is built around characterisation above all else, and it is so frustrating to see a very talented writer fail to develop what she has demonstrated the ability to do. In the series debut THE SURGEON (in 2001) and even more so in the sequel THE APPRENTICE (2002), Rizzoli's character was superbly created and developed, but when Maura Isles came on the scene - a character said by Gerritsen to be similar to her own personality in real life - not only has Rizzoli had to take something of a back seat but of late she isn't even called Rizzoli at all; instead the author has decided to use her first name of Jane in the narrative and this in my opinion has further diluted what was once the strongest feature of the brand.

As for this particular story, it eventually reminds me a little of the previous Rizzoli/Isles outing THE MEPHISTO CLUB, in that the writer thought of an exotic interest around which to wrap a murder mystery, and come the conclusion the reader wonders why the esoteric backgrounds needed to be there at all.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read 29 Aug 2009
By Ms. M. Cheung VINE VOICE
This is the first Gerritsen book I've read, and I was really quite impressed. A quick pace, interesting developments in the plot, believable characters and a feasible story all made me want to keep turning the page. The initial hook on the blurb (mummy with bullet) was intriguing, and Gerritsen did not disappoint with her array of preserved bodies.

I was a bit confused by the priest as I've not encountered Rizzoli or Isles before, but in no way did it detract from my overall enjoyment of the book. I would say to those who have never read Gerritsen before that it would probably be better to read the series in order, but not essential in my view - I thoroughly enjoyed the story despite not knowing the character's backgrounds.

I'm really looking forward to reading more of Gerritsen's books, and I also found it really interesting that she put a few pages at the end to describe her own experience of knowing someone who was a murderer - absolutely fascinating!
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not sure what to think of it 12 Nov 2008
I love all the previous Tess Gerritsen books so I didn't think twice about buying it.

When you think The Mephisto Club is a strange storyline, this is even stranger. The plot is quite thin and foreseeable compared with other novels like The Apprentice or Body Double.

The main characters, Maura Isle, Decetive Rizzoli and her husband, are barely there and I miss the complex study of their emotional develpment the previous novels had.

I think I will not rush to buy the next book straight away but wait a bit to see if it is worth buying. Sadly a lot of authors continue to write stories for their main characters just to continue but at a loss of a good story and good development, like Kathy Reichs or Elizabeth George.
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